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by 8/3/2000 3:36 PM
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Federal Reserve Governor Laurence Meyer spoke to a group of civic leaders in Anchorage, Alaska yesterday afternoon. In his prepared statements, Meyer suggested that although the data showed that the economy did not slow much in the second quarter, it may soften some in the second half of the year. Last week, the Commerce Department released its advance second-quarter gross-domestic-product (GDP) figure, which came in at a higher-than-expected 5.2-percent growth rate. Meyer said that the items that contributed to the strong second-quarter growth, higher inventories and higher government spending, should slow somewhat. He also noted that though productivity has increased in recent years, it is likely to be only a temporary disinflationary force. The Federal Open Market Committee meets on August 22 to decide the future of short-term interest rates.
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by 8/3/2000 3:19 PM
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According to the Investment Company Institute (ICI), mutual funds specializing in equities received a significant inflow of funds in June. The data, released one month in arrears, showed that investors moved $22.37 billion into stock mutual funds in June, up 31 percent from May. However, the level was still 37 percent below the $35.6 billion inflows in March, just as the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3719.4) peaked. Bond funds had positive inflows of $489.8 million in June versus a $5.17 billion outflow in May. This was the first month that bond funds experienced a positive monthly flow since July 1999.
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by 8/3/2000 3:02 PM
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A consumer confidence poll released yesterday suggests that consumers continue to be quite confident about their financial situations. The poll's sponsors, a major monthly financial publication and a major television network, said that overall consumer confidence rose to 30 from last week's reading of 26, its largest monthly gain since January. That reading is two points above its 12-month average of 28, but it is eight points below its 12-month high of 38 made in January. According to the survey, positive sentiment toward buying was 54 percent last week. Confidence in personal finances was 66 percent week. The percentage of those polled who viewed the U.S. economy positively was at 74 percent. All three readings are within five percentage points of their all-time highs.
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by 8/3/2000 2:46 PM
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John Auten, director of the Treasury Department's Office of Macroeconomic Analysis, said that although signs of economic cooling are apparent, he expects economic growth to remain fairly strong. In a briefing to the Treasury's private sector Borrowing Advisory Committee, Auten suggested that recent productivity gains would offset much of the inflationary pressures that often come with significant growth in the economy. However, he noted that the slowdown was not necessarily permanent, and that moderate inflationary pressures could arise if the recent slowing of the economy is temporary.
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by 8/3/2000 12:39 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Boston Scientific (BSX - 18) in fractionally lower in early afternoon trading, as the stock remains above its 10-day moving average for the third straight session. However, the shares are still trading beneath their 20-day moving average as well as all of their significant intermediate-term and long-term trendlines. In BSX's options pit today, 3,103 contracts have crossed the tape on the November 20 call. Blocks of 1,040 and 500 contracts went off at the bid on the out-of-the-money strike that has open interest of 1,291 contracts. This is among the most-active call contracts on the CBOE this afternoon.<
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